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Locals Express Cautious Optimism at News of bin Laden's Death

The past is brought back to the surface with Osama bin Laden's death

Locals are rejoicing in the  widespread news of Osama bin Laden's death, but are concerned about the potential aftermath.

"I'm happy he's dead, finally," said school crossing guard and Carroll Gardens resident Maria Sannino, who watched the second plane hit 10 years ago. "But this isn't going to be the end."

President Barack Obama announced in a late night Sunday news conference that the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center was killed in Pakistan.

"His demise should be welcome by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said. "On nights like this one, we can say to those families who've lost loved ones to Al Qaeda's terror – justice has been done."

Just days after 9/11, Friends of Firefighters, Inc., a not-for-profit organization based in Red Hook, was founded to support firefighters who gave their lives to save others in the terrorist attack through counseling and long-term assistance. Nancy Carbone, Executive Director, said bin Laden's death was "necessary." 

"Firefighters have been waiting for this day for 10 years," she said. "So have family members and frankly, every American citizen."

But Carbone also said bin Laden's death would inspire many emotions in the people she works with and serves.

"This is absolutely going to trigger emotions that many people have buried," she said. "There will be more people asking for counseling."

The attack killed 2,977 people in New York, including 343 New York City firefighters, 23 police officers and 37 Port Authority officers. As the result of the attack, countless more local lives have been lost overseas, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the news “a critically important victory” in a statement issued late Sunday night.

“New Yorkers have waited nearly ten years for this news,” Bloomberg said. “It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

Carbone said bin Laden's death is bringing yesterday's news back to the front burner.

"It feels like 9/11 was 10 years ago, but it really feels like it was a month ago," she said. "There's a time warp."

Lifelong Carroll Gardens resident and director Buddy Scotto said he had "mixed emotions."

"At first I got caught up in it. 'It's about time! Finally! Justice will be served!'" said Scotto. "But then I thought again. Are we really going to solve the problems in the Middle East? Is killing people the answer?"

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz called the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of the United States of America a "fitting end" for the Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind.

But "As we celebrate bin Laden’s physical death let us not forget that we are waging a global war against intolerance," advised Markowitz.

Regardless of what happens next, locals agree that New Yorkers who lost a loved one in the World Trade Center attack have every reason to be joyous.

"People who lost family, they have a right to celebrate," said Sannino.

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